The Theme of Violence in A far Cry from Africa and Lady Lazarus

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The Theme of Violence in A far Cry from Africa and Lady Lazarus

Through out both poems, "Lady Lazarus" and a"A Far Cry from Africa", both Sylvia Plath and Derek Walcott use violence as the backdrop for their narration. Both poems have a intense feeling of intimacy with each writer, and each focuses on both internal and external violence. The poems concentrate on both writers personal experiences. The use of violence as a central theme in both poems gives the reader an insight into the real and the personal dilemmas of two characters in two different situations. As both of these poems are written in the same era; the reader is able to compare the two poems even closer and gain a glimpse of two different perspectives in the same
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In Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus", a quite different type of violence is seen. This poem is no doubt about Plath's third attempt at suicide and her subsequent resurrection. The speaker gives clues that this is her third suicide attempt, yet she casually talks about it as if it were nothing. She says "I have done it again. One year in every ten [she manages] it."(1-2) We know this is her third time because she compares herself to a "cat" with "nine lives to die."(21) She goes on to say "this is number three."(22) The beginning of the poem is also where Plath first uses the metaphor of the nazi death camps. She compares herself to "a sort of walking miracle, [her] skin as bright as a nazi lampshade"(4-5), an obvious reference to the products made from Jewish prisoners in world war two. This is not the last time this metaphor is used in this poem. Through out the first few stanzas, Plath concentrates on the violence she causes upon herself by attempting suicide.

In "A Far Cry from Africa", Walcott characterizes the African Kikuyu in a negative light. He compares them to "flies" who are "batten upon the bloodstream of the veldt."(3) He goes on to compare the struggle between the two cultures as a "gorilla [that] wrestles with superman."(25) Obviously Walcott could see the futility of the Africans attempts to battle with the English. Although he is aware of the blatant slaughter by the British, he tries to remain steadfast in his

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